How was the decision about face coverings in indoor spaces made?
Springfield College is following the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Massachusetts public health officials that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in locations with high COVID transmission rates. Hampden County has been identified as an area of “substantial” risk for transmission of the COVID-19 virus due to its increased number of cases. We will continue to monitor the local transmission rates and recommendations when making decisions about masking..
Where in the residence halls/on-campus housing do I need to wear a face covering?
Face coverings need to be worn inside public areas of residence hall buildings: hallways, lobbies, lounges, kitchens, and laundry rooms. They do not need to be worn in private rooms or while completing hygiene tasks (showering, brushing teeth, washing face, shaving, etc.). For students living in suite-style accommodations (Living Center, Senior Suites, Townhouses), face coverings do not need to be worn when inside common areas in your private living quarters (kitchen, living room) but do need to be worn in common building areas (lounges, laundry facilities). Student guests who are in other students' private rooms and/or common areas in private living quarters, still need to be masked while in those spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
Can we ask about someone’s vaccination status?
We understand that students may want to know of each other’s vaccination status. It is up to each individual to determine their comfort level with sharing this information about themself.
Are all employees vaccinated?
Forward-facing employees of Springfield College are required to be vaccinated or have an approved religious or medical exemption. Employees at Harvest Table with direct contact with food or people are also required to be vaccinated or have an approved exemption.
How will I know someone is vaccinated when they are outdoors without a mask?
Springfield College prides itself on living our Humanics philosophy of leadership in service to others in all that we do. This includes our ethos to keep our community safe by following the guidelines for masking. We are going to have to rely on the honor system and the desire of our students, faculty and staff to make appropriate decisions and choices to keep each other safe. Employees and students found in violation of the face-covering policy will be held accountable.
Can students who aren’t vaccinated be on campus?
Students must be vaccinated or have an approved exemption to be on campus. Student access to buildings, facilities and academic spaces will be limited to only those who are vaccinated or have an approved exemption.
What was the process to review exemption requests?
Medical exemptions were reviewed by Health Center staff to ensure the primary care provider has provided appropriate documentation. Requests for religious exemptions were reviewed by a committee for thoroughness.
Who knows my vaccination or exemption status?
Students' exemption status is shared within the College only, and on a need-to-know basis, as determined by Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and/or Athletics.
Will students need to pay for COVID tests?
There will be no direct charge to students who are required to undergo arrival and surveillance COVID PCR testing. In some very limited circumstances, a student’s health insurance will be billed if the COVID test needs to be processed at a local facility.
Will students need to sign up for arrival testing?
Residential students will be tested as the first stop during their self-selected move-in time block. Commuter students can come on either Tuesday, September 7th, or Wednesday, September 8th, from 8:30am - 3:30pm for their arrival test. For commuter students participating in early arrival activities (athletics, employment, pre-orientation programs), your testing schedule has been communicated to you by your program leader.
Who is required to undergo surveillance testing?
Unvaccinated students and forward facing employees will be required to undergo weekly surveillance testing on Mondays from 10am-5:30pm or Thursdays from 8:30am-3:30pm. At this time, surveillance testing is not required for vaccinated individuals. If an individual is experiencing any symptoms, they should contact a health care provider for guidance and possible testing.
Can anyone stop by and be tested?
Only individuals required to test (surveillance testing or because of contact tracing), or those with symptoms and who are under the care of the Health Center staff, will be tested on campus.
Visitor and Guest Policy
Are there limits to the number of visitors/guests/occupants on campus?
Currently, there are no limits on the number of people that can be in any space indoors or outdoors, other than those imposed by the fire marshall.
Where can non-students go on campus and how will this be monitored and enforced?
Non-students (parents, friends, family and community members) are allowed in all buildings on campus with the exception of residence halls. The only exception is during move-in when each student is allowed two guests to assist them during their scheduled move-in time block. Access to the residence halls is granted through key cards; only those students living in that hall have access to the building. All guests (Springfield College students) and visitors (during move-in) will need to be accompanied by a resident.
Can friends and family come to athletic competitions?
The College is still awaiting guidelines from the NCAA and the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). Currently, visitors are allowed to be on campus. They will be required to follow all guidelines from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regarding masking based on their vaccination status.
Will the Townhouse Backyards be open this year?
Access to the Townhouse Backyards is restricted to Springfield College students only as they need to be accessed via a student residence.
If I am fully vaccinated and test positive, do I go into quarantine and for how long?
Yes. If you are fully vaccinated and you test positive, you should be isolated for ten days. Students will have the opportunity to isolate on campus, or may isolate at home if they can get home via a private car.
Per guidance released by the CDC released on July 29, 2021, vaccinated individuals who are identified as a close contact should be tested three to five days after their exposure, and should wear a mask until they receive a negative test. Vaccinated individuals without symptoms do not need to quarantine.
What can I expect if I quarantine on campus?
Students who quarantine on campus can expect Springfield College staff to check on them periodically during their time in quarantine and to be cleared by Health Center staff prior to their release. Laundry service will be provided once each week. Meal delivery will be arranged for those students with a meal plan. Students can order contactless delivery of food, groceries and supplies. Students will be responsible for working with their instructors to remain current with their courses. Access to printing and library materials will be made by arrangement and mail will be delivered to students.
What will dining options look like this year?
Both in-person and carry-out options will be available at The Table@Cheney for dining. There will be tables with plexiglass and those without so people can choose the setting in which they would like to eat. Carry out will be available again this year. Those choosing this option will be required to place a $5 deposit for a reusable container that will be traded out each time they carry out a meal.